Comparing Chapter 1 of Great expectations’, in which first meets the convict, with Chapter 39, when the convict returns
In this essay, I am going to write about the similarities and differences between Chapter 1 and Chapter 39. This essay will highlight the circumstances of the two characters in the two chapters, the setting of the two chapters, ways the characters are presented, nineteenth century life in general and the message the writer, Charles Dickens is trying to portray to his readers.
The novel starts with the introduction of the main character, Phillip Pirrip, also known as Pip throughout the novel. It is known that he, although the age of seven, has already lost both his parents and five siblings, with only his sister, Mrs Joe as the last living relative. Sympathy is generated for Pip, through knowing he is an orphan at the age of seven. Pip lives with his sister and her husband Joe Gargery, who is a blacksmith. This would be a low profession job, thus Pip is quiet poor, and does not have much money. Pip leads a simple life, without concerns, and he visits his families’ grave when he can. This shows that he is a quiet lonely boy who does not seem to interact with other children instead day dreams to entertain himself. Pip is also very well mannered and kind, we know this because he addresses everyone even if they are of a low class like the convict with Sir. When we first meet the convict Pip is at his families’ grave once again. The convict in his desperation grabs Pip and “turned him upside down and emptied his pockets”. The convict is wearing no hat meaning he has no status. He is also fearful of police and adults, because he is an escaped convict and on the run. This is shown when the convict asks Pip where his mother is, and Pip replies “there sir!” which makes the convict look for cover.
Chapter 1 As an infant, Philip Pir rip was unable to pronounce either his first name or his last; doing his best, he called himself 'Pip,' and the name stuck. Now Pip, a young boy, is an orphan living in his sister's house in the marsh country in the west of England. One evening, Pip sits in the isolated village churchyard, staring at his parents' tombstones. Suddenly, a horrific man, growling, ...
In Chapter 39, when the convict returns, Pip having benefitted from the convicts money is no longer poor but wealthy, living an extravagant life. He lives in temple, which at that time, was one of the most expensive places in London. His life now is far more complicated than is used to be, especially for his love for Estella. His manners and kind behaviour have seemed to disappear, addressing people with a lower class with more of an aggressive tone and rude language. “Keep Off” and “I had had asked him the question inhospitably enough” are just two examples of how his language and kindness has changed. The convict has also changed. He is now rich, having supplied Pip with his money. He is “substantially dressed” as well as he now wears a hat, showing that he has earned some sort of status in Australia. However he has still retained his awareness as he is not meant to be in Britain, of which the punishment if caught is death.
Pip’s circumstances have changed drastically, from his poor background to becoming very wealthy with the help of the convicts money. From a simple lifestyle, where all he needed to do was do what he was told to do, to a more complicated lifestyle, worrying about Estella and other issues. The convict’s circumstances have also changed, but not as radically as Pip’s. He has still kept his fear of the police as he is still in hiding from them. However he is not being chased like he was in Chapter 1 and he is also well off wearing suitable cloths for a wealthy person instead of he is rags and changes which we read he wearing in Chapter 1.
The setting for Chapter 1 and 39 fluctuate greatly. In Chapter 1, the novel was set in the marshlands, which was described as a “dark, flat wilderness”. Marshland is also spongy and uneven; this represents Pip’s life as being very unstable. To Pip, the setting of the scene was awful, with descriptions of the river and sea being a “low leaden line” and “a distant savage lair”. This prepares us for the entrance of something horrific which we later find out is the convict. The sky is portrayed as “bleak”, which emphasizes the fact of being isolated in the marshlands, especially when Pip is described as a “bundle of shivers” which gives a thought of how alone and insecure Pip is. The scene starts in the early evening meaning that it would be dark. This was chosen by Dickens because dark is considered to be more sinister than light, as well as life changing, which works well, as it gave the convict a more ominous feeling which would change Pip’s life for ever. The weather is also said to be bad prior the entrance of the convict.
At the beginning of a novel a reader needs to find out where and who the main character is and what they are doing there. You would expect to find description of their surroundings and then what is going to happen in the story. "Great expectations" does all of these in the first two chapters it firstly tells you Who the main character is and then it goes on to explain were pip is by describing his ...
In Chapter 39, the scene is set in the hustle and bustle of London instead of the quiet, dim marshlands. The floors are made of stone instead of dirt and grass. This shows straight away that Pip is in a more important place where he is no more relevant and possibly has a high status. The streets are all dirty symbolising that his life is once again insecure. The weather is still atrocious, described as “wretched”. It is very wind, so strong it could “have the lead on tall buildings stripped off”. It could also “shake the house, like discharges of a cannon”, which foreshadows what is about to happen to Pip. The settings of both Chapters are very different, as one is set it the countryside and the other in a busy city.